Zucchini Pesto and Bocconcini Parcels are not only beautiful to look at but are so delicious to eat. Housing a creamy, soft Tre Stelle® Bocconcini with a hint of Genovese pesto all wrapped in beautiful zucchini slices. Making this parcel a great choice whether you're entertaining, want to start lunch or dinner off on a healthy note, or if you want an indulgent hot appetizer.
Hint: I dipped it in tempura and deep fried it, absolutely divine.
Song of the day: "Gift Shop" by The Tragically Hip.
Zucchini Pesto and Bocconcini Parcels are just the thing to please both the health nuts of your family and those who are lovers of more indulgent foods.
Sponsored by Tre Stelle®, producers of this fine Bocconcini cheese.
We were asked by Tre Stelle® to create a unique and creative recipe using their delicious Bocconcini. Always wanting to use seasonal ingredients I was thinking of what vegetable I would want to use and came back with a vegetable that is in bountiful supply.
Zucchini are coming in the garden strong and usually in abundance. What do you do with all those zucchini? Well when we were approached by Tre Stelle® wanting something creative, I imagined this parcel with the thought of fresh or fried to deliciousness!
When thinking of Bocconcini we almost always think of a Caprese salad. Slices of fresh Bocconcini and tomatoes with good quality extra virgin olive oil, fresh basil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. That says summer, doesn't it? Well, move over Caprese because there is another hit in town. Zucchini Pesto and Bocconcini Parcels bringing it to you in two ways to keep it interesting and not sacrificing taste.
You may be wondering what exactly is Bocconcini? Well, only the best thing since sliced bread, just kidding. I just happen to be a big fan. Bocconcini are these small almost egg size morsels, not perfect by all means but generally the same size, although I have seen them as big as an ostrich egg. I prefer them a bit small, like the Tre Stelle® ones. They're really tasty. They are made with 100% pure, fresh milk. Bocconcini originated from Naples they say and back then only used milk from water buffalos. It is a semi-soft white and rindless unripened cheese that absorbs flavor well and is so moist which makes it perfect for melting. The Tre Stelle® Bocconcini is exactly this! Small, beautiful white morsels of cheese that are so fresh and creamy. I don't use anything else for pizza, or pasta al forno.
Zucchini Pesto and Bocconcini Parcels: let's put these beauties together!
Because we are wrapping the Bocconcini in zucchini we need to get some nice thin slivers so it will be easy to bend and curve around the cheese. The pesto is from our 4 part series on pesto. Genovese is the one we used and it will add such a wonderful fresh flavor to the already magnificent Bocconcini.
I have one pet peeve when it comes to making sure these parcels don't come apart. Toothpicks! Which I think could be potentially dangerous. Also, using twine. I know sometimes it cannot be avoided but if it can and imagination and creativity are knocking at your door, the perfect organic solution can be found. I had one of those ah ha moments thinking why not use those lovely deliciously tasting chive strands to hold it together? Best part, it is edible and not only that but looks so cute and enticing, don't you think?
When I see this parcel I am feeling Japanese influence. It looks so simple and perfect, zen like. The flavor screaming freshness and flavor, texture and taste. The zucchini nice and light, fine with that moist yet wonderful taste. The chive giving some depth to the zucchini and when you get into the nitty gritty of the baby you find the pot of gold, or maybe milk, lol. The cheese is creamy and soft, with that vibrant pesto bringing in garlic, pine nuts, basil, Parmigiano Reggiano to the flavor train. So healthy and visually stunning. Truly proud of this one.
But my creative mind was still working and I had another thought. Maybe not the healthiest of thoughts, but I imagined this dipped in a light tempura batter then fried. And all I could think of was, Wow! With a capital. The crispiness that would be achieved, the juiciness of the zucchini steamed in that pocket and that pesto bathing the melted Bocconcini would be absolutely mouth watering. So I fired up the fryer and into the oil some of these went.
Look at that beautiful color! Golden and textured. I tap it with a fork and it sings crunchy and tender. Can't wait to break these open and reveal that wonderful pesto covered melted Tre Stelle® Bocconcini.
Just look how beautiful these Zucchini Pesto and Bocconcini Parcels are! That cheese just oozing out and that pesto painting the cheese like an artist to his or her canvas. The zucchini steamed perfectly with just a slight crunch and those juices dripping all over the cheese and pesto. The chive strings intact deliver that oh so familiar fresh herb hit. The crust so golden and nutty, you can hear that sound as you break or bite in. These are heaven in just a few small bites and one will not do!
- 2 medium zucchini
- 8 Tre Stelle® Bocconcini
- ¼ cup Genovese pesto
- 2 medium zucchini
- 16 sprigs fresh chives
For the deep fried zucchini parcels:
- 4 Tbsp tempura flour
- 12 cups cold water for batter
- 2 cups vegetable oil for frying
- 2 cups salad greens for garnish
- Wash and dry zucchini.
- With a mandala slice zucchini lengthwise into thin 2 mm slices.
- If you do not have a mandala you can use a very sharp fillet knife.
- Place zucchini in a cross pattern, and place a tsp of the Genovese pesto into the center where zucchini meet.
- Take the small bocconcini and place on top of pesto.
- Take ends of zucchini one slice at a time and close around bocconcini.
- Take a tooth pic and through top of parcel holding them together.
- Then take a strand of fresh chive and wrap and tie at top very carefully as to no break the chive.
- On the other side do the same, creating a parcel like appearance.
- Place on a dish tied side down, and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- If you want them raw all you have to do is place some salad greens on a small plate.
- Place the 2 parcels tied side up.
- Ready to serve.
- In a medium bowl mix some of the cold water into the tempura flour.
- Add the water a little at a time bringing the batter to a semi runny consistency.
- The batter should come off a spoon easily.
- In a wok heat up vegetable oil to 360° F.
- Place parcels into hot oil carefully and let fry for about 1 minute.
- Turn parcel over and cook for an additional minute or until golden brown.
- You can do 4 parcels at a time.
- Do not put too many into the wok as this would bring the oil level quite high, also the oil will cool too much.
- Take out of oil and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain excess oil.
- Place some salad greens on a small dish.
- Put the parcels on top of the greens.
- Ready to serve.
- Serving Size: 4 servings
I like the raw parcels just on their own. This is simple and organic at its best. I served the fried parcels on a bed of fresh garden greens, a little healthy to offset the not so healthy, lol. The parcels were enjoyed by our family and will definitely be the star of an appetizer course in the future for any of our gatherings.
If you are looking for something interesting, creative and unique and you have some zucchini in the fridge, get to your local market that carries Tre Stelle®, and pick up some of their Bocconcini. Give the gift of giving and get to putting these Zucchini Pesto and Bocconcini Parcels together. Your guests will be pleased with the gift of love and food!
And now, the contest!
We're excited to share this recipe with you, also because of an exciting contest: The Great Canadian Cheese Sweepstakes. All you need to do to enter is simply buy Tre Stelle® Feta or Bocconcini. You can find them in the grocery store. There will be a code on the lid of the tub. Just click here to enter the code for your chance to win.
A total of three Grand Prizes consisting of a Trip for two to Niagara Falls to the Tre Stelle Cooking School for three days. The trips include airfare, airport transfers, hotel, all meals, & the Niagara experience for the three days. Value approximately $5000.00 dependent on point of departure.
And that is not all: 150 secondary prizes will also be awarded. All valued $50.00. They include:
- 5 piece Paderno Knife set with universal block
- 24 cm Nature Trust Ceramic Fry Pan
- 20 piece Souris Cutlery Set
- 39 cm Paderno Roasting Pan
- Paderno spiral slicer
- Tre Stelle Cheese Vouchers
We would love for one of our readers to win one of those amazing prizes. So, be sure to enter. Contest runs through to October 15, 2017.
This post is sponsored by Tre Stelle®. We've been compensated but, as always, all opinions are our own.